Free Markets and Free People Policy Forum
This Mackinac Center Policy Forum is a half-day devoted to public policies that matter greatly to friends of free markets and free people. Join us in Traverse City as we provide an update on recent legislative action and discuss such timely topics as:
- The Future of Line 5
- Pandemic Policies
- Educational Choice
- Worker Freedom and much more.
Presenting will be experts in the field of educational choice policies, criminal justice laws, and political campaign and legislative work. Also joining us will be Mark Janus, a former state worker in Illinois who filed the lawsuit that resulted in the United States Supreme Court’s ruling that outlawed all forced unionization policies for government workers nationwide.
Beth DeShone is the executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project, a bi-partisan, non-profit advocacy organization supporting quality choices in public education for all Michigan students. GLEP strongly supports efforts to improve academic achievement, increase accountability and empower parental choice in our schools. Beth, who has been with GLEP since 2011, was previously a legislative staffer and/or campaign consultant for Dick DeVos for Governor, Dick Posthumus for Governor, the Michigan Republican Party, State Senators Michelle McManus, Bev Hammerstrom and Mat Dunaskiss.
Chris Fisher is a partner with Midwest Strategy Group, a multi-client lobby firm based in Lansing. His focus areas include construction management, criminal justice, economic development, higher education, insurance, labor law, regulatory systems, and taxation. Before joining MWSG, Chris served as CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, equipping him with association management expertise and a long list of accomplishments representing the industry’s interests before the Michigan Legislature and U.S. Congress. He has also worked for two Speakers of the Michigan House of Representatives, the Assistant President Pro Tempore of the Michigan Senate, and the U.S. Congress.
Mark Janus is a Senior Fellow at the Liberty Justice Center and recently joined the Mackinac Center as a Visiting Fellow. In both roles, he serves as an advocate and spokesperson for workers’ rights. Mark had a career in both the private sector and in government. Having previously served in Illinois state government in the 1980s, it was when he returned to the state in 2007 that he learned Illinois politicians had granted AFSCME — a politically powerful government union — the power to exclusively represent more than 90 percent of state workers in Illinois. This type of injustice went on for decades all across the country and affected millions of public workers. That is, until Mark stood up and fought to stop it. Mark fought for his First Amendment rights – and the rights of more than 5 million other government workers – all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Mark’s bravery resulted in the single greatest victory for First Amendment rights in a generation.